It is entirely possible that I have picked the wrong time to write about what Rupert Murdoch could learn from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The idea of Rupert receiving a regal education has been swirling around my mind long before Rupert’s appearance before the Leveson Enquiry.
It was Rupert’s evidential appearance which flipped between the shrewd business man and uncle fluffy that prompted me to finish it.
Rupert like the Queen has been a continuous presence in English life and society in as much as they have both been players in the political scene – true that the Queen edges him on time served but the concept remains true.
Both Rupert and the Queen have seen a number of Prime Ministers come and go, but Rupert has, in spite of his strong Leveson denials, been quite open in mixing with that power. Her Majesty by contrast is either by choice or convention more subdued in her influence and perhaps input. But we really will never know what takes place in those weekly meetings with Prime Ministers!
Both however have faced their shares of scandal over the years and both have reacted in very different ways. Rupert, until recently, was always behind the scenes calculating – his opinions being made subversively known without fear. By contrast, Her Majesty is in public and obvious with her opinions restrained and almost irrelevant. One understood the public interest and the other the readers’ interests.
And right there is the lesson for Rupert. Perhaps instead of the usual PR sponsored or even direct personal lobbying to enforce his aims he should look instead to dignified restraint. Dignified restraint, could in this unprecedented case, carry public opinion, persuade some anti-Murdoch campaigners and usher in actions consistent with News International contrition. The public will respect things actually done in their interest.
But having said all that, from watching the evidence unfold at Leveson and the parade of ex-News International executives, it has become apparent to me that the real problem wasn’t Rupert. It was those entrusted with responsibility, abusing that power and confusing the public interest with their readers’ interests.